One Year On

Today marks one year since I’ve gone from a front end developer to be a technical recruiter at Lookahead Search. In my previous jobs, making it to one year just felt like another day. But this time it’s different. It feels more significant because it was a career change.

When I was a developer, I would feel quite settled into my role after a year of being at a company. I’d have a good understanding of the code base, the processes and the people. But one year on at Lookahead, I still feel new to the job.

So how do I feel about it after a year? Gosh, it is a fucking hard job. Firstly, there are lots of meetings and that gets quite tiring. Everyday I am talking to people on the phone and in person. Some days I have back to back meetings, meetups at night and I’d feel completely wrecked by the end of the day.

I also can’t google for answers anymore because every situation is unique. Sometimes people ask tricky questions and I’d need to think on the spot how to answer them well.

It really is the most challenging role I’ve ever had because nothing is ever the same. People and situations are unpredictable. Even if you do all the right things, you might still not get the result, simply because there are things outside of your control, and that’s been hard to adjust to.

Having said that, it has been the most amazing year of learning and growth. It has amplified many aspects of myself. I’ve become more confident, more empathetic and more self-aware. I learnt to be a better communicator and listener. I understand people’s behaviours and their language better. I’ve learnt so much about people. They really are fascinating and continue to keep me on my toes!

As much as I enjoyed building software before, I didn’t always get to practice what I believed in, such as accessibility, maintainable CSS, pattern library etc. Now, I feel proud and happy about the work I do everyday. I don’t need to compromise my personal values and beliefs, which is to genuinely help people find great jobs and help companies build great teams. But on top of that, being able to provide advice and be a bit of a sounding board to people when they feel lost makes me feel so humbled and privileged.

I certainly wouldn’t be able to achieve all the things this year without my team. We all look after each other and I’ve had so much support from everyone. I feel completely comfortable being vulnerable amongst them and that requires a lot of trust. I know they have my back.

When I started my career in tech, I certainly didn’t think 10 years later I’d be working at Lookahead, but I’m so glad the journey and everything I’ve done have led me to this point. It’s the best job I’ve ever had.

(And thanks for my face snow globe, Lookahead team! For those who don’t know, we have this tradition of putting faces on things haha!)

A photo posted by Fiona Chan (@mobywhale) on